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Research on Environmental Effects of Air Quality

Florida nature preserveMany of our ecosystems are under stress from climate change and air pollution. Research is needed to understand the ecological impacts of air pollutants to support the secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which provide public welfare protection, including protection against decreased visibility and damage to animals, crops, vegetation, and buildings. With climate change happening now, science is critical  to understanding and responding effectively to a changing climate with resiliency planning. The research goals include:

  • Determine at-risk species and ecosystems to air pollution and climate change.
  • Identify climate-sensitive stress factors, including pollutants.
  • Understand the relationship between climate change and water quality.
  • Assess vulnerabilities to ecosystems for U.S. regions and economic sectors.
  • Develop information and tools to evaluate air quality impacts on ecosystems and to mitigate climate change impacts on ecosystems.

Research discoveries will assist with the development and implementation of resiliency plans to reduce the impacts of climate change.

Related Resources 

Related Tools

  • Integrated Climate and Land use Scenarios (ICLUS) -- Climate change and land-use change are global drivers of environmental change. Impact assessments frequently show that interactions between climate and land-use changes can create serious challenges for aquatic ecosystems, water quality, and air quality. Population projections to 2100 were used to model the distribution of new housing across the landscape. In addition, housing density was used to estimate changes in impervious surface cover.  A final report, datasets, the ICLUS+ Web Viewer and ArcGIS tools are available.
  • Global Change Explorer (GCX) -- GCX is a collection of web tools that visualize, compare, and provide access to spatial data that describe potential future environmental change.
  • FEST-CEXIT -- FEST-C is a Java-based interface system that facilitates the integration of agriculture, atmosphere, and hydrology simulations at large scales.
  • Estuary Data Mapper --EDM is a stand-alone application providing utilities for identifying, querying, visualizing, and downloading environmental geospatial and time series data for estuaries and coastal watersheds of the U.S.
  • SMaRT Search -- This searchable inventory offers freely available models, tools, and databases from EPA's Office of Research and Development. 


  • Science Inventory is a searchable database of journal articles, reports and presentations primarily by the EPA's Office of Research and Development.